How an emergency inspired Angela Townley to create her life saving business...


Please tell us a bit about the nature of your business...

I provide basic life support and first aid courses and training for anyone and everyone. We teach in local schools to children aged 7+ which is just pretty amazing!

What inspired you to start your business?

My son aged 9 months inhaled a pin with a ball on the end which went unnoticed for the first few days.

Thankfully, because of my nursing experience I was able to spot the early warning signs that something was wrong. This meant I was able to take him to hospital sooner rather than later, and thankfully he recovered but things may have turned out differently if I hadn't of been able to spot the warning signs.

A year later he had an unrelated seizure in the French Alps when on holiday, he stopped breathing for a short time but we were with family and no one knew what to do except myself and my husband, the fact that we were around at the time made a huge difference. Everyone was so upset because they couldn't help. Alexander recovered well as it was just a febrile (temperature related) fit. My two elder daughters were so scared and worried that if it happened again, what would they do? This inspired me to launch my company as a First Aid specialist instructor to share my skills as a registered cardiac nurse and as a mum to others. We now teach these life saving skills to companies, families, teachers, nannies and children all over London.

What was the most challenging aspect of building your business in the beginning?

The most challenging aspect was actually not really knowing what I was doing. I have been an NHS nurse for years so had no business experience per se. I had to do everything... marketing, HR, advertising, recruitment, teaching and more. Juggling all these aspects was hugely challenging yet rewarding. I now feel I can trust my instincts and the skills I have to drive the business.

If you were to launch your business again, would you do anything differently?

I think I would try and outsource some of the jobs, and invest in employing others to help with the setting up of the company. I think I would have taken the pressure off as I worked round the clock to get the company up and running.

What keeps you motivated?

The energy I get from teaching. It's so rewarding to see how confident people feel after our sessions. The children are truly inspirational if only we were all like that. And the knowing that we are really making a difference in our society.

How do you balance work and family life?

This is super tricky and at first I did struggle switching off work with family life. Now I know things can wait until the next day and set certain times for work and with the children. Making sure my phone is away at meal times and family time so I can completely focus on them.

What’s your proudest business moment?

My first ever teaching session at the Marie Curie Hampstead, it was my first ever job and I was shaking like a leaf! Also the time I had a message from a parent saying their child used the skills they had learnt when their sister was choking!

What’s been your most successful form of marketing and/ or brand awareness?

Predominantly word of mouth, but I also use Facebook and Instagram.

Do you have any positive habits or routines that you feel have attributed to your success?

Resilience! I am very patient, and will keep going even when I'm tired or fed up thinking this isn't working, accepting the highs and the lows but feeling very happy with what I have achieved so far with no previous business knowledge.

What's your favourite business app/ tool/ book/ podcast etc?

I follow a lot of business bloggers and Facebook groups to inspire me, and I realise we are all sharing the same experience juggling work and family life.

What advice would you give to new entrepreneurs just starting out?

Be patient don't run before you can walk. Trust your instincts, be kind to others and share your skills and knowledge. Be generous even if they are your competitor, it's best to have them on side. Try not to stress too much it all works out one way or the other.

If you want to get in touch or see more of Angela's venture, head over to her website or social media:

First Aid Step By Step

www.firstaidstepbystep.com

first_aid_stepbystep Facebook First Aid Step By Step

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After spending the last decade as a business coach, I can honestly say that Suzy’s approach to business and life is remarkable. She has an overflowing passion for helping others, and her ethos behind everything she does is inspirational. 

Suzy is a true gem!

SOPHIE MCCALLUM

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